Andre Russell bludgeoned three sixes off eight deliveries to carry the West Indies to their first victory of the One Day International Series with a one-wicket triumph at St. George’s Park on Sunday. Although Russell (64 not out off 40 balls, 5 fours and 5 sixes) applied the finishing touches, much of the credit should also go to Darren Sammy who produced a fine all-round performance. For South Africa David Miller made his maiden ODI century (130 not out off 133 balls, 11 fours and 3 sixes) and also took a superb acrobatic catch that almost turned the game back in his side’s favour.
Sammy played a major role in restricting the Proteas towards the back end of their innings by conceding only 46 runs in his 10 overs and taking the key wicket of JP Duminy. He and Marlon Samuels then turned around a potentially disastrous situation at 73/5 after 21 overs including two run outs with a partnership of 93 in 16 overs. Sammy contributed 51 off 52 balls (5 fours and 2 sixes) and Samuels (68 off 93 balls, 5 fours and 2 sixes).
A key aspect was the absence of Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir from the Proteas attack. The two have played important roles in taking wickets in the middle of the innings. The main positives for the Proteas was the continued good form of Miller in the No. 5 position and the fact that Duminy and Farhaan Behardien had a combined bowling analysis of four wickets for 50 runs in 10 overs.
Wayne Parnell and Aaron Phangiso also took advantage of their first opportunities of the series although the left-arm spinner bore the brunt of Russell’s final onslaught. The teams now move on to the final ODI at SuperSport Park on Wednesday with the Proteas 3-1 up in the series. Russell was named Man of the Match.